CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE SPEICHER, TIKRIT, Iraq - Provincial municipal leaders and Iraqi Policemen visited this sprawling base outside of Tikrit to tour several specialty labs and training facilities, June 24.
During the tour Iraqi leaders visited the Joint Expeditionary Forensic Facility, Combined Counter Exploitation Explosive Cell labs and the Iraqi Based Industrial Zone, continuing the efforts of the brigade to bring about greater transparency and data awareness for Iraqi leadership of the province.
"We have always looked up to the United States and hoped and dreamed to get to the level of your country. I am pleased to see that events like these are allowing us to see that we are being helped to make those dreams come true," said Ahmer Kandeel, the provincial director general of Public Works.
"I am pleased to know that our Iraqi Police force is being trained on forensic equipment that is here for us. I really hope to see our IPs using these techniques to be able to distinguish and recognize the criminals from the innocent," he continued.
The JEFF Lab normally processes crime scene evidence; however it has also provided IPs with training on forensic techniques.
"Here at the JEFF lab we have focused the training for the IPs on latent prints. The knowledge learned here will be the 'meat-and-potatoes' for the police who will now be able to identify and compare prints as well as use these techniques in their day-to-day lab operations," said Liam Arkwright, a latent print examiner at the JEFF lab.
"Today Iraqi Lt. Col. Laith explained to his peers what type of processes we use in the latent print lab and DNA collection that he has learned after his 40-hour course. He is now certified to train his police force," he continued.
"We have received really good results from participating in this training," said Iraqi Maj. Gen Hamed, the Salah ad-Din Director of Police.
"The equipment our police force has been trained on shows us how to truly recognize a criminal's prints on improvised explosive devices or any kind of explosives. This will benefit the province," he added, explaining the benefit of the partnership and training programs that Coalition forces and ISF leadership have put together.
"Our mission is to build and not to fight," said Col. Walter Piatt, commander, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division. Piatt shared his command vision with the leaders in attendance.
"Having the director generals and the provincial leaders here allows us to get to know you better and become friends. This is essential because once we become friends we will be able to operate as one," he continued.
The tour also allowed Iraqis to visit the IBIZ facility which has been used to house opportunity and skills enhancement training for ISF and local citizens.
The guests toured the IBIZ skills development center which focuses on welding, carpentry, heating and air conditioning, small engine repair, electrician and plumbing skills development. While there, Iraqi students shared their knowledge of the skills they learned and how valuable the training was to them.
"I really like this job because this is better than a regular job. It is teaching me valuable plumbing skills to help support my family," explained Muhamed Famah Hameed, a plumbing student at the facility.
As the tour concluded, the last stop was at the brigade headquarters, where the Iraqi visitors were able to look into a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle and received a hands-on demonstration of various U.S. weapon systems. The guests finished their visit and settled down to an all-American lunch of cheeseburgers and ice cream.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16